When I was diagnosed with Parkinsons over eight years ago, I was very disorientated. since then, through support, exercise and knowledge, I’ve learnt to live my best day possible. \240This year I am attempting to walk, with the support of family and friends, 1000 km from Moissac to Santiago de Compostela. Not bad for a person living with Parkinsons.

Packing days and the last 24hrs before Departure day are stressful for most people but throw in a low level of dopamine, and trying to get three sets of boots in the medium size suitcase which led to heightened anxiety, it’s a wonder we got Jeff’s best Parkinson’s smile at the airport . There is no sugar coating the international flights to London especially the 14hr leg are long. \240

Day 1 of pre trip: I arrived I in London. After a hitch with my mobile phone account, I spent the afternoon at some of Britain’s great museums. After struggling to understand which tube station to get to out of the blue a person came up and wanted to shake my hand. . Apparently his father is undergoing DBS next week and has been a bit sad. \240Not only was the son impressed by my endeavour he gave me understandable directions in how to get to the British museum.


The British museum might as well be called Museum of objects stolen from other nations. \240Truly awesome artifacts but not very British. How many urns of integrity does the museum really need? On the other hand, the building and architecture is truly is standing.


This is contrasted with the Victorian and Albert Museum. It too, has some original material of dubious ownership, but in the main has items freely given and replicas.

The National Gallery

A grey and drizzly day in London. Thankfully I was encouraged to take small umbrella. First stop National Gallery, then National Portrait Gallery and travelling across the river to the Tate Modern.


Amazing vivid colours for 600yr painting

Most tourists walked straight past this and next Turner

A large Monet water lily pastel

The National Portrait Gallery was typically British - lots of old male portraits, some bare female breasts and a cheeky photo of Queen Elizabeth and Phil. Included Captain Cook and Cate Blanchett.

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is in a repurposed power station. The work was a tad depressing. I did not stay long.

Not sure of artist’s motive but this “emperor had no clothes’.

This interesting in real life as as your focus changed the line waves seemed to move

Took the bus from Leicester Square to St Paul’s, walked over millennium bridge. After visiting Tate Modern walked along river and crossed bridge to Big Ben, passedWestminister Abbey (required paid ticket) then to Westminister Cathedral (free)

Lion in Trafalgar Square

St Paul’s

Parliament Square

W Abbey

W Cathedral

An important part of my support team was put in place today when I was joined today by my daughter Claire who, I hope, will be with me for the whole 1,000+km Camino. A shout out to Erin, Lea & Andrew, Maryanne & Tony and Selina & Frank who will also join me at different stages of the walk.

Today was a less hectic day - did less than 7k steps. \240Claire & I went to the theatre to see the Book of Mormon then traveled to Westminster Cathedral for sung vespers and vigil mass.

Chelsea Gate apartments

Today I was a tourist not a pilgrim. We caught a hop on hop off bus and visited all the sights - changing of guard at Buckingham Palace, drove past Tower of London and London Eye, \240and heard Big Ben ring out. \240

4 Stone Buildings, London WC2A 3XT, UK

For the second day I was a tourist but was surrounded by many pilgrims. Claire and I visited the Harry Potter exhibition of actual movie sets. The level of detail and model making was extraordinary.

In the evening we caught up with a family friend who is working as a paramedic on contract. \240

31 Mathew St, Liverpool L2 6RE, UK

Today I resumed my journey as a pilgrim. As my part of my 60th birthday present from my family was a tour of Anfield Stadium, home ground of Liverpool FC. \240And in the afternoon a Beatles tour. Both meet the definition of a pilgrim as one who travels to a holy place.

Liverpool train station

Hotel Lutetia

The last24 hours could have been an unmitigated disaster: on Tuesday Jeff urgently had difficulty finding a public toilet, the evening train was delayed 90 minutes so we didn’t get to bed till later, anxious about bag weights and other things, 2 hours on 3 different lines at the airport (ie fatigue and some frustration), lined up further 20 minutes unnecessarily on tarmac and it was hot (body struggled to temperature regulate.

But it wasn’t. Able to bring heart rate down and slow tremor through yoga breathing at the taxi wait at Lourdes airport, Claire stepped up to make decisions and calmed me, and we found a fantastic cafe for tea.

Being a pilgrim reminds me to accept challenges with a focus on the destination rather than small obstacles

Liverpool train station

Unfortunately did not have time to visit either Anglican or Catholic Cathedrals

Hotel Lutetia

Yesterday was \240hot when we arrived at Lourdes. Today is a HOT 37 degrees. Apart from the religious aspect, Lourdes is a beautiful place with the Prynees within touching. But heat affected my ability to make good decisions- another PD symptom.

1 Prom. Sancert, 82200 Moissac, France

After navigating the French train system from Lourdes to Moissac, we finally arrived at the starting point

View from very swish pilgrim accommodation

hard benchmark for the next pilgrim accommodation including tasty cocktail

1 Prom. Sancert, 82200 Moissac, France

After a long night of repacking to make the pilgrim transport weigh in limit of 13kg per item of luggage, we finally sorted out our bags. \240Who would have thought that I would be weighing woollen socks late into the evening. Moissac is a very scenic town with an impressive abbey church. Tomorrow’s weather is for both showers and hot. Only benefit for day 1 is that the first 16km is very flat and the 4km to end gentle uphill.

1 Prom. Sancert, 82200 Moissac, France

Being a pilgrim is about simple decisions on what we choose to carry each day but to be held to account by luggage scales……..just shows how in need this pilgrim is of a fewer things to haul around.

Baguépi Artisan Boulanger

Living with PD can be a drag- trying to balance meds and meals, not having the zing to do thinigs and being constantly reminded of it often in the small things .

BUT NOT TODAY. Day one of my Camino was mainly flat albeit with a gentle headwind, not on the lookout for a toilet (though I did fertilise a tree), \240it was just an ordinary day walking 19km along a tree lined canal with two scary narrow high bridge crossings (with PD height sometimes an issue).

Tomorrow is a big 30km day undulating terrain. With an early start should be OK

First sighting of shell symbol

Day one. Complete- 1,005km to Santiago

Hôtel Collège des Doctrinaires****

It may sound romantic to walk along side a field of sunflowers but it also means trudging through wet sticky mud. \240Cafe didn’t open at Auvillar but thankfully was open at St. Anthonie to stock up food supplies. Met a nice Belgian who was taking taking it slowly

SURPRISE -actual distance walked today 33.8km (47,600 steps, total ascent 731m) which took 9hr 40 min inc breaks. Tomorrow only 18 km. Can afford a sleep in.

Need to remember to regularly wipe dribble under extreme activity so I don’t look like an old(er) Man ( caused by right side facial masking from PD)

Wet start to days

Mud but didn’t slip overs

Traffic warning

Cheap coffe and cake at honesty stall

Extraordinary farm vista

Sunflowers and muddy trailw

End of long day 3

L'Etape d'Angeline

Day three Lectoure to La Romieu was uneventful after almost sleeping through our 8am luggage transfer. A lot of the day was spent walking next to very large fields of sunflowers. Our accomodation looks to be several \240centuries old but as our window was directly above the restaurant we couldn’t hang washing out.

Camino includes other non walking activities such as eating the local cuisine- see below!!

Narrow path often next to road

Photo doesn’t give sense how steep paths are

Sunflowers everywhere

Les Trois Lys

Breakfast with real coffee for a short 14.1km walk often in mist ( not rain). It felt like a third of the day was uphill. Photo’s don’t do justice to the effort. Eg 800m up in about 10 minutes with at least 1:5 gradient. \240Condom has an amazing cathedral. The Priest picked my accent from just one amen.

In Camino hospitality, Claire and I were gifted two authentic pilgrim shells with cords.

Condom is also the home of the 3 musketeers (now plus Jeff)

Typical village scene with blue doors

I felt energised after singing litany of saints in small village chapel with chandelier

Half way but cannot see top of rise

Awesome accommodation way into Confom


Walked today from Condom to Montreal a mere 18 km and only 280m in ascent. We detoured to Larressingle to see Francis smallest walled village, which is also one of its hundred most beautiful villages.

We met in Australian couple who were in their 70s carrying all that they needed and were completing the Le Puy-Camino. \240We also met a man from \240near Paris who too was carrying all his needs and at twice our walking pace. \240I just need to accept that a lesser pace with a baggage service is what PD will allow me as a pilgrim.

We did pass a sign that showed us that we were 1,000 km from Santiago. \240.

Walk of Condom Cathedral


Official marker of 1,000km to Santiago de Compostela

Hot long walk


Café de France

Had a confused start to the day. Took three goes to unpack/ repack bags \240to find my walking gloves- and there is not much in my \240suitcase. Great day for walking with last 9km of 18km on shaded and almost level 4m wide bitumen path. \240Hard to get lost.

Country side has changed from sunflowers and orchids to solely vineyards.

Cathedral in Eauze is extraordinary. Interesting that I needed to duck when entering by the side door.

Accommodation once again several centuries old.

Vineyards everywhere

Easy walking hard to get lost

Eauze Cathedral


A reminder that St Jacques Compostelle still a long way to go

Nogapatio - Maison d'Hôtes - Bnb

Today is the seventh consecutive walking days for a weekly total of 148.2k. Could explain why I’m feeling stiff this afternoon.

An early possible Parkinson’s symptom is loss or reduced sense of small. This means I can’t smell the odour of exertion especially smelly socks - but unfortunately others can.

Thank you to the kind fellow pilgrim who gave a financial donation for my cause.

Early morning start

Typical village scene


Shaded pathway

Nogaro from approach

End of another walking section

LE MAS - 40800

Today from Nogaro to Aire-sur-L’ardour was supposed to be a 27km walk but ended up as 33.4km slog. There was an error in our map which led to \240a 4km unnecessary detour.

The last 18km was in the sun though there was a gentle breeze and it was flat. We also stumbled across \240an honesty table which provided \240juice boxes and water.

Tea will require us to go out, back down the hill and back up the hill. Will sleep well today.

This ends eight consecutive walking days. Tomorrow we have a taxi booked to take us to Navarrenx from which there only 4 days to we reach St Jean Pied de Port (SJPdP) at the base of the Pyrenees.

Village church morning shaded

Extensive vineyards

Honesty stand

Plaque on footpath

Bridge at Aire-sur-L’ardour

Hôtel le Commerce

Today, after yesterday’s unplanned 33km walk in the heat, thankfully was a taxi ride to Navarrenx effectively skipping more than 95km usually walked over three days (with a lot of uphill).

Parkinson’s fatigue is different to just being tired. The mind sends the neurological messages but the body acts in slow motion. Eg. it takes me three times as long to get the spoon from the tub of yogurt to my mouth. My resting tremor is also more prevalent. Thankfully I have a capable therapist to tie my shoe laces which otherwise is also painful to watch.

Only tomorrow will tell how a day’s rest has reduced the fatigue before and after a 15km walk.

Church at Navarrenx

Accommodation is the building on the right

Tomorrow’s bridge crossing will be a challenge with a narrow footpath and low railing

Navarrenx is a walled city

Gîte Ferme Bohoteguia

This post is brought to you by Kylie - see end.

Feeling refreshed this morning but what’s with a (continental) breakfast of baguette, croissant, jam, poor coffee and fresh juice. Sometimes cheese and even rarer a boiled egg. Protein lacking.

Todays walk of 19.6kms was into a warming day. Having passed into the Basque area it may be a coincidence but there are more shaded rest stops with tables and benches.

Staying at a Gite tonight we were offered a free washing service. Communal drinks from 6:30 and tea from 7. ( bedroom off common area)

My affected right arm is slowing ( further) even with conscious thought. It’s becoming hard to keep it in sync. It needs to start swinging \240- perhaps some stimulation? \240My first \240EP had a great a strategy for this on Melrose Dr involving a stick to provide feedback!

Change in architecture in Basque area

The way is varied but ongoing

First cross sighted on the way

Cool breeze by riverside very welcome

Although difficult to see in photo and mist- first view of Pyrenees

Wrong measurement to Santiago

Right measurement - still a long way to go

And what’s with all these fields of sunflowers??

Just imagine Kylie playing in background

Hôtel de la Paix

Sensational three course meal last night at Gite Ferme Bohoteguia, I felt better this morning even with a shallow sleep due to hot room.

I took the opportunity at dinner to promote awareness of Parkinson’s Disease. It seems there is the same lack of awareness of early symptoms in France as in Australia.

We are gettiing closer to the Pyrenees, so a lot of today involved two long climbs and descents. Just two days left on the sections of the Le Puy Camino we are walking. \240

Wednesday is blue shirt day

Two pilgrims on their way

Maison Oyhanartia

Day started with a lung busting effort of about 210m straight up. Rewarded with extraordinary 180 degree view. Then straight down 100m and straight up 120m at greater slope. Even better 360 degree view. Shared this part of the day with Spaniard friends.

Shared lunch with curious French pilgrims. They were incredulous with our pace. All were stopping at lunch while Claire and I were pushing through another 4km in 30 degree heat to Larceveau. Still leaves 23km tomorrow to walk to St Jean Pied de Port.

Dinner was in old farmhouse with French hosts. Met Germans who rode at 5am each morning.

Early morning view of Pyrenees

What a team

View looking ahead

Picture card perfect view

Marker for meeting of three major French Camino paths

Looking back to first summit

Picture doesn’t justice to slope and roughness

My 77 old spainish friend

Even though it was a 30 degree day and had not rained for a week, the path down was muddy and rocky.

The good news is that this path was not on the path. \240Note it’s the end of summer and it is still so green

Training for Pyrenees on Sunday which is at least a 1,200m ascent!!

Les Chemins D'elika

Thirteen days after leaving Moissac, Claire and I walked into St Jean Pied de Port, the starting point for pilgrims to walk the Frances Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

This completes stage 1 walking more than 250km with just one day off. The next stage begins on Sunday with Claire and I planning to walk the ancient path to cross the Pyrenees to Spain.

Tomorrow is a rest day of sorts. Need to visit laundromat (in supermarket car park), supermarket for supplies, make lunch, \240cook dinner and catch up on admin.

Sheep had to be encouraged to leave path

Pyrenees that we aren’t crossing

Sexiest road sign

Another postcard view

Entry to Church

Ornate stain glass windows \240

River Neve runs through town

View from bedroom window

Les Chemins D'elika

Pilgrims smell after a while. Nightly hand washing in a basin only removes so much daily sweat. It’s a reason why the early church used so much incense.

Most people are unaware that loss of smell could also \240be an early indicator of PD \240There is a lady in the UK who claims to be able to detect PD based on body odour. \240What I do know is that my socks have a different and stronger aroma than my wife’s.

Part of the “rest day” was spent at a laundromat located in the supermarket carpark trying to cleanse our clothes.

The entry gate through pilgrims enter the church and old town

Tomorrow will be a long day as Claire and I walk the reknown path up / over / down the Pyrenees.

The beginning of the way through the old town that leads to the high mountains

Hotel Roncesvalles

Guide books state that today’s walk from St Jean Pied de Port over the Pyrenees ro Roncesvalles is the hardest section. The following elevation is deceptive because the flat line @2hrsi is morning tea at Orission and the flat line @ 6hrs was lunch - ie. there is no flat section.

To put it in perspective, the height gain is more than twice the elevation of Braidwood above sea level!

The photos do not give the scale of the adjacent mountains or elevation for walking.

Early morning climbing out of SJPdPc

Gaining height but stil a long way to go.

Morning view from Orission

Starting to gain height over adjacent mountains


See pilgrims spread out. Another false summit

And another corner

Towards lunch looking south

Lunch stop with view to north. (Private road)

Starting descent

Initial descent rocky and steep

5km \240downhill

After rocky section long descent through forest

Hotel Akerreta

Due to forecasted lightning and storms, today we took a taxi for safety. ( Last night we were woken by a lightning storm so knew there was a strong chance of a repeat). \240Rain forecast for tomorrow as we walk into Pamplona.

Tonight we are staying at a hotel used in the movie The \240Way.

Met 6 people on yesterday’s walk who were surprised to see a person with PD taking on the challenge inclauding a NZ GP.

Hotel Maisonnave

Yesterday was a half days walk to Pamplona and today was a “rest day”. \240The picture below was similar to where Jeff first slipped/fell.

It felt strange walking into a large city after two weeks in small towns and villages.

Pamplona has several extraordinarily ornate cathedral and churches.

Our attempts at ordering tapas was a dismal failure. Hopefully we can impoverish the next 5 weeks.

Downhill, wet and smooth br

One of several bridges into Pamplona

Running of bulls sculpture

Columns holding up Cathedral

One of several side altars

Decorative entrance to Cathedral

Collection of crosses

Her is the fence for the running of the bulls, but where are the bulls?

El Cerco Hotel Rural

Today the \240pilgrims’ journey was amidst a wind farm, \240a modern sculptural interpretation with an expansive view back to Pamplona. Entrance to our accommodation in Puente laReina \240was via the back lane. After the pilgrim.s blessing we received a cross and chain.

La Punte del Reina

Hospedería Chapitel

Pilgrims have to cross bridges to overcome physical impediments. . \240People living with PD likewise have choices to consider often involving things they would rather not accept but cannot avoid

Similarly, pilgrims also need to accept they can’t outrun the weather. \240Often it is a matter of timing when to walk in sprinkles and when to put on the raincoat. It was that type of day on the walk to Estella. And Jeff went for the coat too early.

Puente la Reigna

Bridges make good seats

Ornate details to standard overpass g

Steep stairs on previous bridge

Ornate detail with biblical stories from 12th C

More steps

Bar Restaurante San Andres Torres del Rio

After a steep climb out of Estella, thirsty pilgrims were rewarded with free red wine from a tap in the wall. \240 Jeff was up to the challenge.

Once again the rain stayed away but as it was a longer day- it was just a long day - with our accommodation 7km beyond Los Acros at Torres del Rio. It was mainly flat straight pathways. The day ended poorly with Jeff not taking enough breaks, his drink bottle leaking, a steep down and up, and an interesting choice of accommodation. \240It finished on a positive note with tea with other pilgrims.

Leaving Estella

Early morning “traditional tasting”

Jeff walking the line

Sercotel Calle Mayor

People living with PD (&pilgrims) often need help to do basic tasks such as cuff buttons and shoe laces. It is often quicker and safer to ask for and accept help. \240Jeff is a slow learner.

Today started poorly with no continental breakfast at our accommodation but the day got better. Lunch 11:15 was tasty and the rain stayed away as we travel to Logrono. Another extraordinary ornate Church.

Very step downhill. Note red Riorja soil

Another bridge to cross

Walking the mid line

Road into Logrono

Entry to Viana

Logrono to Naj(h)era 29 day to meet astfies

Najera to Santiago Domingo


Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Hotel Restaurante San Antón Abad

Pilgrims walk in all weather.

After another speedy taxi ride from overnight accommodation to Belarado we donned wet weather gear for high wind and rain that lasted all morning. Then walked through mud for the afternoon \240 \240It sounds gloomy but I found it less challenging than yesterday’s mental exercises.

Walked past accommodation and driven back. It was like a museum.

Rain and more rain and high wind

More rain and wind

Nesquik makes good hot chocolate

Church at San Juan Ortega

Driven back to St Juan - walked to Burgos. Frank befriended a horse and Jeff head butted olive tree. \240Long walk after late lunch around perimeter of Burgos airport then 5km straight path along canal

C. Hospital Militar, 9B, 09002 Burgos, Spain

Thankfully today was a rest day as 3 of us were recovering from overnight food poisoning which meant we couldn’t avail ourselves of the magnificent breakfast spread.

Was a chance to do washing and to explore Burgos cathedral. \240An extraordinary building. Our friends that joined us for the week \240left for Santiago on a 4am bus.

Hornillos Meeting Point

Today we met 4 Camino characters who might have might have been Jesus.

The first was a German who spoke excellent English and \240escorted us out of the city. He was waiting for the bar to open to get his bag and hoped we would buy his first beer

The second was a lady who blessed us and gave us each a miraculous medal.

The third was a priest at the evening mass (not vespers as advertised) who’s hands waved expressively in the homily expecting the congregation to respond however the great majority didn’t speak Spainish and had no idea what he was saying.

The fourth was a lay person who intensely impressed on us God’s love starting from the shroud of Turin and waved about a medal crucifix as the key to heaven. As we were in the front pew we couldn’t leave like most of the other pilgrims. Claire and Lea tried hard to suppress laughter. Jeff just starred ahead.

The day finished with live music at the restaurant ranging from saxophone, harmonica and Italian opera. With the joy he brought maybe he was Jesus. The food was great a the day was also the start of the Mesata.

Yippee only 501km to Santiago

Murals in ??

Lunch in the only shade

Looking back to Burgos

Beginning of Mesata into Hornillos

Distant bare hills with cross on top

Chapel in Hornillos

Picture signed by Martin Sheen

At music night after being told to believe

Elderly lady who blessed us

Quinta San Francisco

Today was a short 21km from Hodrillos to Castrojeriz via Horotanas - continuation of the Mesata.

We met a some fellow pilgrims from Australia.

Tonight’s accommodation is behind a large wooden door set in an 8 foot stone wall with a garden, orchard and pool to bathe feet! \240Not sure how we will rejoin the dusty pilgrim path tomorrow.

Almost there

Cross outside Hotonas



Side altar

Prayer candle for intentionsd

Hot and straight path

Ruins of 14th century church of San Anton outside Castrojeriz

Cooling feet the Spainish way

Walled garden

How the other half lives

Eco Hotel Doña Mayor

It was difficult leaving our accommodation after a fine breakfast.

The expectation was that today, as part of the Mesata, would be exposed and arid. This held true for the morning hill climb (1,000m @ 12%) and descent (350 m @ 18%). From then on it was exposed but heavily irrigated farm land. The last 5km was even a shaded pathway beside the Casita Canel.

Morning view of garden

Early morning light on Castrojeriz castle and washing

Start of morning hill

Halfway up

View from the top

Warning of descent

View looking back

Another old bridge is

Tree lined pathway

Exposed but irrigated


End of canal

C. San Zoilo, 1, 34120 Carrión de los Condes, Palencia, Spain

Wednesday day 32, 18 walking days to Santiago.

Today was a relatively flat walk through irrigated fields. Though last 6km was windy and very straight. Sometimes it is easier when the end is not in sight.

Accommodation tonight is at the Monasterio de San Zoila first established 948AD

Shadow and two pilgrims

Jeff and his mate Paulo

Flat an exposed farmland, ie. windy

The following photos are from the historic monastery

Hostel Los Templarios

Thursday begun with a sumptuous breakfast. Once again it was difficult to leave. \240Today was a 26.6 walk to Terradillos de los Templarios mainly through farmlands. As we were one of the last to leave we were one of the last to arrive at tonight’s albergue but the bonus was we did get some washing done.

Hotel Casa El Cura

Today two pilgrims unexpectedly made donations through my cause. \240It provided an inspiration for the delay that unfolded.

Just when we thought we had left the Mesat, Friday Turned into \240a difficult day. We took the old road which provided rural views but at a slight extra distance. After dawdling in Sangahan we headed to our accommodation only to realise it was 12km on a hot and stony road. It turned into a challenge to the mind.

We received a very warm reception at our accommodation even if we didn’t choose the pork


Hotel Astura

A pilgrimage is not always a comfortable journey. Today we left before sunrise as the forecast was for another hot day. It was not as flat as Friday but after the sun rose it quickly warmed up.

It was another straight path. Not surprising as several sections were part of the original Roman road. \240Given the heat it was a relief even if we had to wait 25 minutes to be picked up.

The accommodation was in Anna and Felix and Lucas’ home. It was good home cooking

Hospedería Monástica Pax

After a sad goodbye to Anna, Felix dropped us back into town. \240No shortcuts, we started where he picked us at the previous day.

It was not as hot as the last couple of days but it was still warm and exposed. After a short walk through the outer suburbs of Leon we were able to see the cathedral from 4km

Lea made a new friend from Argentina.

There was some urgency as there was to be festival parade in the afternoon. After passing a KFC, making our way through the crowds it turned out that both our rooms had balconies overlooking the square where the parade was being held.

The parade was a tad chaotic, especially when two bullocks headed for the crowd.

After the parade finished and the crowd dispersed who should appear but my younger daughter to join us.

Local parish church

Bridge leading out of Mansilla das Mulas

Festival in Leon

Facade outside Leon.cathedral

Cloister outside parish church

Hospedería Monástica Pax

Today was supposedly a rest day. After a late breakfast, I found a barber to tidy up my beard and cut my hair to it to a \240regular length and bought a new pair of walking shorts, \240by the time we go to the cathedral alas, the building was having a siesta. This was a good opportunity for us to have a rest as well.

Yeah cathedral in Leon is simple yet majestic. Unlike burgos it is essentially, still the same footprint. The stain glass is extraordinary.

Lea on bAlcony at accommodation

Don Suero de Quiñones

Since being diagnosed with PD I’ve had a greater awareness of heights. Given the number and height of freeway crossings this has been an unexpected challenge- which to date I’ve met.

Tuesday was Erin’s first walking day and a long day. And it was also hot and exposed. The only benefit was that it made Wednesday shorter. It was also another flat day through corn and sunflower fields.

The only remarkable event was the 300km marker to Santiago.

And one daughter carried a Bingo balloon all day.

Breakfast of champions

Bridge at Mansilla das Mulas

Today being only 17km felt like a sprint. \240We arrived at Astorga in time for lunch. After a rest and shower we looked at the Cathedral and the Palace designed and built by Anton Gaudi.

The cathedral was impressive by the both the building and chapels as well as the audio tour.

In between buildings Jeff tried to order a two scoop in a cup ice cream but was refused service as he didn’t specify the size of the scoop! \240Customer service very lacking.

The Gaudi palace is even more impressive especially when it was started in the 1890’s.


Hotel - Bar - Restaurante La Posada de Gaspar

Although there were several sharp climbs rising 250m to Rabanal it was not a difficult day. The accommodation had a balcony facing the setting sun so our washing dried. \240Joined in Benedictine community at vespers.

Mesón El Palacio

Leaving Rabanal before sunrise we made an early start to walk 7km to Cruz de Ferris (Iron cross). It moving as pilgrims in silence placed a rock and or made a gesture. A friend, Jez, gave me a photo of me before the cross.

This is the highest point in the Frances Camino and the biggest descent of 900m over 12km. \240In hindsight I should have taken a taxi especially below Riego de Ambros as I struggled down the creek bed and final section with large drops on one side.

The church at Molinaseca was open by Tim, an American in his 70’s.

Sunrise Rabanal

Morning view

Jeff placing pebble from home

An emotional experience for some pilgrims

View south from highest point of camino

Initial path from iron cross. Path became steeper and more treacherous especially for Jeff

French sign deep in Spain

Bridge at Molinasec. \240Happens to have survived the day

Las Doñas del Portazgo

Molinaseca to Ponferrada to Cacabelos to Vilafranca.

\240An early start skipping breakfast. Would have liked to have a had a look around Ponferrada but it was a 30km+ day but very picturesque especially as we approached Villafranca.

Cocktails for afternoon tea at Cacabelos.


Paraíso del Bierzo

Chose variation to herrerias - third of three peaks. Saw ascent to O Cebrero for tomorrow

Saw both extraordinary natural beauty and engineering in bridges

Casa Galego Alojamiento

Herrerias to O CEbeiro to Fonfria

IBERIK Triacastela Hotel

Descent from Frontia much easier than from the iron cross - both angle and even gravel pathway. A shorter day after yesterday’s

Supposed to be most photographed tree on Camino

Early morning start from Fronfria

Accepting help

Continuing to promote early diagnosis

What a glorious morning for a walk

South Korean friends

Locked church at Tricastela

Casa Solance

Tricastela to Arrive Sarria

Casa Solance

Today was meant to be a rest day, especially as it was the Spanish national day.

After a cooked breakfast, and On advice of the hotel manager, we took a taxi to Lugo. Lugo is a 2km wall city from about the 12C.

Apart from the fete stalls of ancient crafts we visited the Lugo Cathedral. Due to perpetual adoration of blessed sacrament there are no photos and also there was no photo book for sale

Albergue Pons Minea

Including rest days, today is day 48. \240And the accumulated fatigue is making it harder to start each morning. \240

Today was a raincoat day, to be expected but rare as only the third wet day so far. Walking from Sarria under grey skies through green laneways is totally different to any other day so far. It is very Celtic and nothing like the other Spainish regtwe have walked through. \240Likely the walk from ro Portomarin to Palais de Rais will be similar tomorrow \240

Both daughters rode horses from outside Sarria to near Portomarin. All part of the adventure.


Sarria accommodation early morning

Example of Galician distance marker

Jeff and Andrew on old bridge

View to north

Jeff and statue of St James. Refer 2018 photo

Pazo De Laia

Portamain To Palais de Rei

1930 Boutique Hotel

Palau’s de Rei To arzua

Vila Sen Vento

Arzua To A Rua (el Pino)

Hotel San Miguel

Arrive Santiago

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Today we attended the traditional pilgrims mass at noon. Some generous benefactor had paid the 500 euro contribution to make the botafumerio swing

It was quite moving to realise my Camino was almost at an end. Similar to the journey of other pilgrims down through the centuries. It was also a time to reflect on the challenges of the past through weeks.

And random people have been coming up to me in the cathedral square to have their photo taken with me.

Funesterre and muxia

Depart Santiago for home